Dark chocolate has rightly assumed its place front and center, in part due to its health benefits; pure chocolate contains flavonoids which have been found to act as antioxidants, so we can all now breathe a guilt-free sigh of relief in considering chocolate a health food! But for the gourmet dark chocolate has always reigned queen, and many small chocolate makers the world over are competing today for perfection in the art of chocolate confection.
As with the coffee bean, the quality of chocolate beans varies greatly depending on where the plant is grown, and there are an infinity of flavors that can be added to enhance the flavor. The taste of chocolate is at his best when freshly cooked and it's one of the reasons why the quality of industrial chocolate will never compare with the one that's handmade and fresh off the rack.
|Recchiutti, for whom creating chocolate is an art, is likely the best American chocolate maker. Some of his creations are decorated by San Francisco artists.||Arnaud Lahrer is one of a new generation of "chocolatier" in Paris.|
|La Maison du Chocolat has three shops in NYC. This is without a doubt the best address in Manhattan for the dark chocolate lovers. Their chocolate eclairs are a must!||Chocolate and coffee, a divine coupling. Brasilian Pastry by La Maison du Chocolat is proof of the marriage.|
|Ladurée's chocolate "macarron" is still one of the best.||Fabrice Gilotte has been said to be the best French chocolate maker. His "macarrons" are delicious too. His shop is in Dijon the former capital of Burgundy.|
|Pierre Hermé is one of the best pastry shops in France. They make fantastic chocolate cake. The one above is named " individual fulfilment."||Sadaha Ruaoki is one of the geniuses of the Japanese school who has settled in Paris, and is certainly one of the best pastry makers in the world.|